Ike and Tina Turner's Tumultuous Relationship: What to Know
Music lovers around the world are mourning the death of Tina Turner. News of her passing hit the net on May 24 after a reported private illness. She was 83. Though she gained independent success on a massive and international scale, her work with her first husband, Ike Turner, set the foundation. Their marriage was not a happy one, and filled with abuse, but Tina emerged as the star. They split decades ago, and both remarried.
Ike died in 2007, with Tina publicaly declaring she'd forgiven him for the 16 years of torture she endured. Though he downplayed the abuse, he admitted some regret and that he'd forever love her. She attributed his volatile ways to his drug use and jealousy of her rising stardom during their union. Their legacy is forever intertwined in some way.
How they met
Ike met the impressionable starlet, born Anna Mae Bullock, at an East St. Louis nightclub in 1957. She was still a teenager, and he was in a relationship with Lorraine Taylor.prevnext
Their relationship transition
A known philanderer, Ike was attracted to Tina for her powerful voice. They instantly became friends, with Tina viewing Ike as a big brother. Tina began performing with Ike throughout the South. She was shocked by him wanting to be more than friends, but felt obliged to Ike as a result of him helping her in her career. They officially wed in 1962.prevnext
A blended family
Tina had a son with a fellow band member before entering into a relationship with Ike. He has two children from a previous marriage. Together, they had one son. Tina raised all four as her own.prevnext
The infamous abuse
In Tina's autobiography I, Tina: My Life Story, Tina says the first strike from Ike came after she told him she no longer wanted to be in a relationship with him after recording "Fool In Love" He reportedly beat her in the head with a shoe stretcher. Like a typical abuser, he apologized, and she forgave him under the loyal promise she made that she wouldn't abandon him when she made it big as other acts did. The abuse was intensified by Ike's cocaine use and led to a failed suicide attempt by Tina.prevnext
Fed up by the abuse and control over her personal life and career, Tina fled one night while on the road to a motel nearby with less than $1 to her name. She never looked back.prevnext
Leaving with just her name
Tina gave up all rights to their joint music, alimony, and any type of divorce settlement. But she refused to give up her stage name, noting she worked too hard for it. A judge agreed, and Tina left the marriage with nothing, and was severely in debut due to contracts she'd signed while married to Ike. She set out to rebuild her life and career.prevnext
A rock star is born
Tina began performing in Las Vegas nightclubs and caught the attention of Capitol Records. And she took her music into her own hands, performing with rock and roll undertones. She got a resurgence at the age of 40 and became a global phenom with hits like "Private Dancer," and "Simply the Best." She is widely referred to as the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll."prev